World

Myanmar pardons prisoners ahead of year-end pledge to free people jailed for political crimes

  • THIS CORRECTS SECOND SENTENCE - Female prisoners get off from a truck as they were released from Insein prison Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, in Yangon, Myanmar.  The Myanmar government pardoned 3,073 prisoners on Tuesday, but advocacy groups said no political prisoners were included despite a pledge by the president to free all such detainees by the end of this year. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    THIS CORRECTS SECOND SENTENCE - Female prisoners get off from a truck as they were released from Insein prison Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, in Yangon, Myanmar. The Myanmar government pardoned 3,073 prisoners on Tuesday, but advocacy groups said no political prisoners were included despite a pledge by the president to free all such detainees by the end of this year. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)  (The Associated Press)

  • THIS CORRECTS SECOND SENTENCE - Myanmar prisoners walks after getting off a truck as they were released from Insein prison Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, in Yangon, Myanmar.  The Myanmar government pardoned 3,073 prisoners on Tuesday, but advocacy groups said no political prisoners were included despite a pledge by President Thein Sein to free all such detainees by the end of this year. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    THIS CORRECTS SECOND SENTENCE - Myanmar prisoners walks after getting off a truck as they were released from Insein prison Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, in Yangon, Myanmar. The Myanmar government pardoned 3,073 prisoners on Tuesday, but advocacy groups said no political prisoners were included despite a pledge by President Thein Sein to free all such detainees by the end of this year. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)  (The Associated Press)

  • THIS CORRECTS SECOND SENTENCE- Myanmar prisoners walk to the entrance as they were released from Insein prison Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, in Yangon, Myanmar. The Myanmar government pardoned 3,073 prisoners on Tuesday, but advocacy groups said no political prisoners were included despite a pledge by President Thein Sein to free all such detainees by the end of this year. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    THIS CORRECTS SECOND SENTENCE- Myanmar prisoners walk to the entrance as they were released from Insein prison Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, in Yangon, Myanmar. The Myanmar government pardoned 3,073 prisoners on Tuesday, but advocacy groups said no political prisoners were included despite a pledge by President Thein Sein to free all such detainees by the end of this year. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)  (The Associated Press)

Rights groups in Myanmar say the president has pardoned more than a dozen political prisoners and former military intelligence officials as part of a pledge to free people jailed for political crimes by the end of the year.

The official Political Prisoner Scrutiny Committee said Tuesday that the amnesty was part of a wider release of about 3,000 criminals, most of whom committed minor crimes.

Ye Aung, a committee member, said he believes at least 13 political prisoners were released along with a half dozen former senior military intelligence officers detained after the 2004 ouster of Prime Minister Khin Nyunt.

Thein Sein, a former general who was elected in 2011 after five decades of military rule, had pledged to free all political offenders by the end of the year.